Mapping Access

About this project

We want to make our learning spaces more caring. 

We want everyone to have what they need in order to learn and participate in the ways they prefer, in the ways that work for them.

We believe that barriers to learning are a kind of violence, produced by ableism and sanism, interlocking with other forms of violence such as racism, colonialism, cisheteropatriarchy, and classism. (1)

We believe in working together in building collective access to our shared learning spaces. (2)

We have been in many conversations among our fellow students about barriers to learning and the tremendous amount of extra labour and distress they cause — discussions in the classrooms, departmental check-ins, student association meetings, group texts, hangouts at the coffee shop, after-class venting — 

Conversations that are full of insider knowledges not only about things that don’t work but also strategies for making things work and brilliant ideas for how things should work. 

We wish there is a place to gather these stories, a place to account for the knowledges, a place for people to connect their seemingly disparate experiences and perhaps feel less alone, perhaps gather in numbers and push for change. 

This is why we started this space. We hope to:

  • Gather evidence that students can use for their own advocacy efforts for improving accessibility on campus
  • Learn from one another strategies to navigate and resist inaccessible spaces
  • Share ideas, dreams and hopes toward disability justice and collective access
  • Leave evidence about resourcefulness and mutual care (3)

Interested in sharing your stories, photos or artwork?

Please read the How it Works page.

This project takes place at York University, located in Tkaronto, traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat, subject to Treaty 13 between the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Crown.

Mapping Access is part of Patricia Ki’s dissertation study, in collaboration with alum Yoonmee Han, inspired and informed by the work of professor nancy viva davis halifax, at the Critical Disability Studies program at York University, about how people can practice care without replicating violence. This project is premised on the belief that in order to practice care, we must at the same time cultivate conditions that make people’s practices of care possible. In academic institutions, such conditions may include learning spaces, structures and processes that are flexible to meet the needs of different embodiments and ways of being/thinking/feeling — spaces that are accessible in people’s preferred ways of learning and participation.

(1) (2) Disability Justice: A Working Draft by Patty Berne

(3) Leaving Evidence, a blog by Mia Mingus